Map Your Hunger

Learn to feel your hunger so you can let your stomach, not emotions, dictate your habits.

By Michael F. Roizen | MD from Reader's Digest | November 2006

Some of us eat because we’re plain old hungry, while some of us gnaw on leftover Halloween candy for emotional reasons. It’s not always easy to figure out the difference.

To help, record your level of hunger throughout the day. Stay in tune with what your stomach is telling you, not what’s happening with stresses (kids going crazy),
emotions (spouse working late again), or habits (Lost equals bowl of Cherry Garcia). This process will help you really feel your hunger so you can let your stomach, not emotions, dictate your habits. Ideally, you’ll want to eat mindfully and stay in the ¾ to full tank range, satisfied at all times.

How Hungry Are You?

0 Tank = Hungry
It feels like you haven’t eaten since your junior year of high school.

½ Tank = Edge is off
You’re okay, not desperate, but you’re thinking about a big, juicy steak.

¾ Tank = Satisfied and not hungry
You can go much longer without food. You just ate nuts and had a drink before dinner.

1 Full Tank = Comfortable
It’s the way you feel after finishing an average-portioned, healthful meal.

Overflow Level S = Stuffed
You could’ve (and should’ve) stopped about one slice of pepperoni ago.

Overflow Level OS = Overstuffed
Audible groaning can now be detected.

Overflow Level BP = Button pop/exploding
It’s the typical Thanksgiving gorge. You feel sick, and you even
take the name of your mom’s stuffing in vain.